Coronavirus in Oklahoma: OSSO adult recreation sports league restarting play
OSSO Sports & Social is looking to be a bright spot in a dark sports world.
With leagues based in Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Lawton, OSSO provides adult recreational sports for multiple levels of amateur athletes. It followed suit with the rest of the sports world and suspended play of all leagues on March 16 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
After a two-month hiatus, the OSSO has resumed play, starting with its outdoor flag football league on May 17. The organization offers basketball, bowling, corn hole, flag football, kickball, sand volleyball, soccer and indoor volleyball. Not all leagues will be offered immediately due to safety concerns.
OSSO owner Blake Bullard believes their return could be uplifting for athletes and sports fans across the state.
“I think everybody’s looking for something active to do,” Bullard said. “If you’ve been sitting on your couch for the two months, there’s probably not other things that are as safe and organized where you can go out and feel like you had a social experience.”
In the past two months, OSSO introduced its first eSports season, which included Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, FIFA 20, Madden NFL 20, NBA 2K20, Rocket League and Super Smash Bros, all on PS4 and XBOX ONE.
The online turnout for eSports was much higher than anticipated, so much so that a second season has already been completed. Eventually, OSSO hopes to be able to host in-person tournaments and playoffs for their eGames.
Despite the success of the eSports league, in-person sports are irreplaceable for OSSO.
Many shelter-in-place orders have been lifted around the country, but there are still guidelines to be followed regarding the virus. Bullard insisted OSSO is taking every precaution in order to make sure athletes and spectators are safe.
“Having sanitizer for balls between games and having sanitizer for hands whenever they need it,” he said. “We’re probably better positioned than just about anything else because we’re outdoors and we’re in the open and there’s not a lot of common things that are being touched, so you’re able to apply social distancing to a lot of the sports.”
Sand volleyball began Monday and outdoor soccer on Tuesday. Preseason kickball games were set to begin Thursday and the regular season will start on June 4. Indoor flag football begins on May 31, and basketball begins on May 31 and June 2.